Custom Search

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Lieberman Disappointed in Democrats and Enjoys being Independent

The Hill interviewed Joseph Lieberman and published the interview today.

Excerpts from The Hill’s interview with Sen. Lieberman

The Hill: How long do you see U.S. troops staying in Iraq?

Lieberman: I think some troops will be there for quite a while to secure the country, particularly from external threats. Look, I hope that this surge, which has always intended to be temporary, gets to a point sometime next year where it has succeeded enough in quelling the sectarian violence, particularly so that some of the troops that were part of the surge begin to come home. But my direct answer is that there is no explicit answer. The answer is that the troops will come home when the mission is completed.

The Hill: Obviously, a lot of Democrats don’t feel that way.

Lieberman: I’ve noticed that.

The Hill: How dissatisfied are you with you right now with the way this debate has been handled in the Senate, especially during the defense authorization bill debate?

Lieberman: I’m disappointed that I am in so small a minority among Senate Democrats in taking the position that I have. While I obviously understand and respect that Iraq is a difficult issue, and people take different points of views, I’m surprised and disappointed that the split has followed partisan lines so much. It shouldn’t be.

The Hill: Some of this criticism might seem surprising from someone who was the vice presidential nominee seven years ago. How far away from the Democratic Party do you see yourself right now?

Lieberman: Right now, certainly on Iraq, to some extent on some other foreign policy issues, like how do we confront Iran, how do we contain Iran, how do we deal with what that threat represents in the Middle East. To some extent on some defense issues, I have disagreements with most Democrats. But I agree with most Democrats on a lot of other issues, and a lot of domestic issues particularly.

The Hill
: Are you open to switching parties and becoming a Republican?

Lieberman: I have no interest or desire in doing that. I wouldn’t foreclose it as a possibility, but I hope that I don’t reach that point.

The Hill: What would drive you over to that point?

Lieberman: Well, I guess I’d know it. It’s like Justice [Potter] Stewart and his definition of obscenity: he couldn’t define it but he’d know when he saw it. I think I’ll know it when I feel it, but I hope I never get to that point.

(Continued below the advertisement)

(Continued from above)

Joe Lieberman lost his primary with Ned Lamont but won the general overall election to hold his seat, as an independent now and he enjoys this position better because of the partisanship he sees in the Senate these days.

He has been consistent with his stance on Iraq. He understands the ramifications of a premature withdrawal and he has no qualms about speaking his mind on the subject, to the disappointment of the Senate Democrats.

Ever since Connecticut Democrats refused to back him for a fourth term in Congress, Joe Lieberman has been burnishing his independent credentials in the narrowly divided Senate while becoming increasingly critical of the Democratic Party on the war in Iraq.

Lieberman, the Democrats’ 2000 vice presidential nominee, insists he is not actively considering joining the Republican Party. But he is keeping that possibility wide open as his disenchantment grows with Democratic leaders. The main sticking points are their attempts to end the war in Iraq and their hesitation to take a harder line against Iran.

“I think either [Democrats] are, in my opinion, respectfully, naïve in thinking we can somehow defeat this enemy with talk, or they’re simply hesitant to use American power, including military power,” Lieberman said in a wide-ranging interview with The Hill.

“There is a very strong group within the party that I think doesn’t take the threat of Islamist terrorism seriously enough.”

He sides with the Democrats on issues he agrees with them on and with the Republicans on issues he agrees with them on, he is truly bipartisan in his efforts and he votes in a principled manner by not walking in lockstep with either party but by voting with his own "gut".

I do not agree with all Lieberman's stances, but I have to give him the respect he deserves for doing what he thinks is right for this country and "party lines" be damned.

Good work Joe!!!

I wonder whether their is a Democratic candidate running that he would even consider endorsing for President in 2008?

From what I have seen of their rhetoric, I don't think so.